Rugby League’s Vegas Showdown: Expanding the Sport’s Global Reach

The NRL made history this season by hosting regular-season Rugby League fixtures in Las Vegas for the first time, attracting over 40,000 fans and setting the stage for a potential Super League game in 2025. As negotiations continue between the two leagues, the global expansion of the sport takes center stage.

Rugby League Takes Center Stage: Expanding the Global Reach in Las Vegas

In a groundbreaking move, the NRL made history this season by hosting regular-season fixtures in Las Vegas for the first time. The aim was to introduce Rugby League to a new audience, and the initial round proved to be a resounding success.

The first game saw the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs, followed by the Sydney Roosters facing the Brisbane Broncos. The event attracted an impressive 40,476 fans, the highest attendance for a Rugby League game on American soil. However, the TV viewership numbers lagged behind, with neither game attracting more than 62,000 viewers.

“The NRL noted that over 1,000 fans made the trip from England to witness the inaugural Vegas round, highlighting the global appeal of the sport.”

Now, the NRL is keen to build on this momentum by including a Super League fixture in the 2025 Vegas round. According to reports, negotiations are ongoing between the two leagues, with Warrington identified as a likely participant from the Super League. The plan is for the Super League game to kick off around lunchtime in Vegas, which would translate to a prime-time Saturday evening slot for UK viewers.

The Global Expansion of Rugby League

While no deal has been finalized yet, the talks between the NRL and Super League are at a critical stage. Both sides are eager to ensure the negotiations are handled delicately, as any misstep could derail the plans for a trans-continental Rugby League showdown in the heart of Las Vegas.

The option of incorporating the World Club Challenge into the Vegas round has been discussed previously, but it now appears more likely that a regular-season Super League game will be played instead. As the negotiations continue, rugby enthusiasts around the world eagerly await the next chapter in the sport’s global expansion.

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